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Franklin Park to be Transformed Downtown, Public Meeting October 2

by Prince Of Petworth September 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm 40 Comments

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From DC Office of Planning:

“The DC Office of Planning (OP) in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), the District Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and the Downtown Business Improvement District (Downtown BID) announced today the launch of a collaborative comprehensive planning process to revitalize Franklin Park. At 4.79 acres, it is one of the largest parks in downtown Washington, DC.

Franklin Park is located between K and I Streets, NW and 13th and 14th Streets, NW in downtown Washington, DC and is owned by NPS. The park sits within the rapidly growing neighborhood of Center City DC that has seen a 31.6% increase in population over the last 10 years. Currently the park does not meet the diverse needs of neighborhood residents, workers or visitors; however, there is the potential to transform Franklin Park into one of our nation’s premier urban parks. To realize this dramatic transformation, OP and its partners will investigate options for increasing recreational opportunities, adding services such as food and restrooms, increasing events and programs, restoring historic resources, incorporating sustainable and ecologically sensitive materials and practices, enhancing surrounding streetscape and transportation connections, and using a public/private partnership to oversee the long-term maintenance and management of the park.

“Franklin Park has the potential to host options for creative play, formal and informal recreation, outdoor dining, and a wide range of programs and events, as well as provide a cool, shady, natural, green respite in the center of the city. We envision a park that will become a daily enhancement of the lives of Center City DC workers, residents and families, but also a public square for all to enjoy with civic celebrations and special gatherings,” said Harriet Tregoning, Director of the Office of Planning.

OP has contracted with OLIN Studio, a nationally award-winning landscape architecture firm with unique expertise in urban historic park restoration and design, to develop a comprehensive plan and conceptual design for transforming Franklin Park. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), NPS is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate these proposed actions. The EA will address the project background, the purpose and need for the proposed actions, a determination of environmental issues and potential impacts resulting from the alternatives considered (including the no action alternative), and public involvement and agency coordination.

PUBLIC MEETING

The DC Office of Planning and its Franklin Park partners will hold a kick-off public presentation and open house on October 2, 2013 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Four Points by Sheraton, 1201 K Street, NW, Washington, D.C. Anyone with an interest in Franklin Park is invited to come share their ideas for how to improve and enhance the visitor experience of the park. Attendees will hear a project overview and an initial site analysis and conditions report. The project team also will hold a visioning and programming workshop to gain a deeper understanding of desired park uses and current issues.”

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